Skip to content

Australian efforts driving cervical cancer progress, but challenges emergeAustralian efforts driving cervical cancer progress, but challenges emerge

Pacific Friends of Global Health 2 mins read

As we observe Cervical Cancer Elimination Day of Action, there is a pressing need to ensure that all women everywhere have access to the HPV vaccine, along with appropriate screening and treatment to prevent unnecessary deaths. Despite being one of the most preventable and successfully treatable forms of cancer in 2020 there were at least 340,000 death world wide. 90% of these deaths were in low and middle income countries.

The HPV vaccine was co-invented by Professor Ian Frazer, 2006 Australian of the Year,  whose research on the link between human papillomavirus and cervical cancer established that 95% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV. The HPV vaccine is one of the most impactful initiatives supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance which has supported the provision of the HPV vaccine to lower income countries since 2012. This vaccine is instrumental in averting approximately 17.4 deaths for every 1000 children vaccinated and since 2012, Gavi investments have helped overcome supply challenges to protect 16.3 million adolescent girls.

Nossal Institute Hon. Professor Helen Evans, said: “The world has made extraordinary progress against cervical cancer and indeed Australia is on track to achieve elimination by 2035. Global co-operation through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has powered the scale up and rollout of the Australian discovered HPV vaccine, through the developing world, saving more than 16 million lives.

Despite this success, stronger financial and political commitment is needed to ensure that young girls everywhere have access to this vaccine.

“The picture is not nearly so positive for women in low and middle income countries including our near neighbour PNG and we are now at an inflection point. We are grappling with supply constraints and disrupted health systems due to the pandemic, leading to a worrying decline in HPV vaccine coverage. We need to get back on track.”

Professor Evans said that cervical cancer strikes women right at the time when they are most engaged in child rearing and contributing to their communities. The protection afforded by the HPV vaccine is much more than a health measure. When women survive their families and the broader community also benefit

“When we lighten the burden of cervical cancer we create a springboard for the empowerment of women and girls,” Professor Evans said.

The WHO SAGE recently recommended a single-dose vaccine schedule for the HPV vaccine down from a two dose schedule which will potentially simplify the vaccination process.

“Encouraging signs of an expanded supply post COVID and single dose vaccination represent a powerful opportunity,” Professor Evans said.

“This creates the very real possibility of reaching the target of protecting approximately 86 million adolescent girls in lower and middle-income countries with this lifesaving vaccine by 2025.”

Contact: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032

More from this category

  • Finance Investment, Political
  • 12/06/2024
  • 09:34
Super Members Council

Dodgy financial advisers who use click-bait and cold calls to drum up business should be put in the legal freezer

Anti-hawking laws should be tightened, and current consumer protections locked into law to stop dodgy financial advisers using click-bait social media posts, cold-calls and pressure sales tactics to move unsuspecting Australians into a dud super fund and charging them thousands in fees, the Super Members Council says. The Super Members Council is calling for the Australian Government to extend anti-hawking laws, so it bans a small subset of financial advisers from using cold-calling businesses to get clients. Parliament should also swiftly pass the financial advice legislation currently before it, which locks into law the current robust consumer protections that require…

  • Contains:
  • Immigration, Political
  • 11/06/2024
  • 06:01
Sustainable Population Australia

Thousands of Australians call for an end to rapid population growth

Many well-known and respected names such as Dick Smith AO, economist Leith van Onselen and Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe, have joined over twelve thousand…

  • Contains:
  • International News, Political
  • 10/06/2024
  • 10:45
Monash University

Monash expert: French election

French President Emmanuel Macron has called a snap election in France after heavy losses in his party to the far-right National Rally party in the country's EU election. A Monash expert is available to comment on the election and its implications in France, Europe and beyond. Associate Professor Ben Wellings, Politics and International Relations Contact details: +61 421 470 181 or Read more of Associate Professor Wellings’ commentary at Monash Lens “Radical-right populist parties have made political gains at the expense of green and liberal parties in the elections to the European Parliament. Whilst the centrist parties have retained…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.